St Austell Renewables (STAR)

St Austell Renewables (STAR) was formed by a small group of individuals interested in promoting community owned energy projects in the town.

The initial scope of the White River Hydropower project was to research the potential and feasibility for micro-hydropower in the main water courses that run through St Austell and its surrounding area.

STAR appointed Hydromatch Consulting to undertake an outline feasibility study on the White River at Menacuddle, which concluded that potential for a small scale system exists but due to proposed install costs and income generation, a large capital grant would be required.

As a result of the Menacuddle site investigation, the group applied to Tesco’s Bags of Help fund for monies to restore the site and were awarded £8,000, allowing for restoration of landscaping created in the early 1920s, which uncovered a number of mature specimen trees and a “lost pond”.

STAR also engaged with the BRE National Solar Centre who carried out a more extensive energy efficiency report for St Austell Arts and Community Centre, and again assessed the options for solar PV on their buildings.

This study has led to work with STAR and Community Energy Plus to develop a programme of energy efficiency improvements as part of a wider refurbishment plan the centre is developing.

Currently they use very old electric storage heaters as the primary heating solution and investigations are currently on-going to identify alternative solutions or upgrades to reduce their energy bills. A potential crowd funded project is in the early stages of development.

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